Imagine you are working 40+ hours for the last three years and one day you woke up and didn’t have to go to work. You may or may not be thinking that this would be awesome. Going from working full-time to student full-time is a bit of an adjustment. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be! Here are five tips to easily transition back into being a full-time student.
Time is your most precious commodity
Now depending on what your previous work-life balance was like; in grad school time is very precious. You may be juggling a multitude of priorities, such as work, family, class, social activities, interviewing, networking, studying, down-time (what’s this?!), and just “you” time. In your mind they are all very important, but will likely not all get the same attention, which is why it is important to know what your priorities are at a given time and know that they will likely fluctuate.
Create a “base” schedule
One of the most challenging aspects that I even still struggle with is the idea of a schedule while in grad school. I don’t believe you can truly have a schedule unless it is all hours of the day minus the hours you sleep. However, you can create a “base” schedule (all the things you know will be on your schedule for a given week) such as, classes, social activities, etc.
Lead with an open mind and positive attitude
This one will get you far. It is good to approach every interaction with a positive attitude and know that things won’t always go the way you may have expected. You’ll have a much richer experience and will likely discover things that you may not have if you didn’t approach it with an open mind and positive attitude. There are so many great opportunities and people that you are surrounded with during this time – enjoy where it takes you!
Money, money, money
This one always hits home with everyone. You may have a part-time job, savings, or scholarship, but it is always important to remember that as with anything in life, things happen and to be conscious of spending habits to keep yourself in a sustainable position throughout the two years!
Schedule time just for yourself (within reason, of course!)
It is important to have some down time just for yourself, whether you are an avid runner, love reading novels, playing video games, or meditating, this little weekly (or daily) activity will keep you sane, motivated, and thriving throughout the semester.